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Developing Civil- Democratic Legislation for the Palestinian National Security Forces

The Palestinian legal framework of the security forces has gaps that need to be addressed by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). These gaps exist due to the absence of a comprehensive legal framework governing the work of the Palestinian security forces. In specific, there is no legal text regulating the work of the National Security Forces (NSF), which would prescribe their powers, missions, capacities and organisational structure.

Against this background and given the need to develop a legal framework that governs the NSFs’ operations and missions, the NSF Commander submitted an official request to the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed forces (DCAF) and the Palestinian Centre for the Strategic Studies and Research (PCSSR) to provide assistance for developing draft legislation for the NSF.

This working paper contributes to the importance of developing the legal framework governing the Palestinian NSF in line with international best practices. It did this by:

– analysing existing legislation on regulating the work of the police and security forces;

– presenting the process facilitated by DCAF and PCSSR to gather input for the development of a new draft law;

– presenting a draft law in collaboration with legal experts from the Office of the President, the NSF and qualified independent lawyers;

– presenting a peer review of the draft law undertaken by an international legal expert; and

– reproducing the Legislative Police Statement, the recommendations and alternatives expressed during the consultative process with regards to the mandate of the NSF.

DCAF and PCSSR recommended that the adoption of the legislation for the NSF can be done through an institutional and legal process that is in line with civil-democratic standards. Additionally, both DCAF and PCSSR remain available to assist the PNA in their efforts to develop civil-democratic legislation for the armed forces.

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